I like my books, colorful. My food, delicious and my tea served hot.
I would apologize for being gone but the world feels like it has been ending and I have not felt like writing if we are being completely honest. Also blog post take me forever to write and I am an impatient person. But I have decided to revamp this blog and get back to writing. I need the practice, I do miss writing even if folk don’t be reading my shyte, and the realest reason I paid for a year membership and we are going to milk these 48 dollars for all its worth.
So some updates:
I have read 41 books so far this year.
I have gained an obsession with Beverly Jenkins a romance author. So much so that I have read 8 of her books in the past month and half.
I am going to be hosting a social media poetry event that I am super excited for. So stay tuned for some prompts, photo challenges, and book challenges. I am bursting at the seams for this project to come to light.
I got sponsored to promote a book!
My follower count on all platforms have gotten higher. If you want to see some of my author content you are more than welcome to hop on over on Twitter, Instagram, and tiktok.
I am part of the tour for Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore. So keep an eye out in April for my mood board and review.
These are some of the things that I have been up to these past couple of months. I look forward to coming back and fulfilling the writing emoji on my Ig blog.
Welcome back friends and stay colorful.
It’s that time of the year where so many of us go down the rabbit hole trying to find gifts for our loved ones. It can get pretty stressful trying to find gifts for our friends and family. We want to get things for them that they will like, enjoy, and find useful. We also want to see that smile when they open their gifts. That smile can be serotonin inducing.
Down below I will try to hit the mark for all bookish babes. It can feel pretty intimidating buying for avid readers because sometimes you don’t know what kind of books they like, you don’t know where to start, or maybe you think they have enough books (we can never have too many) but there are loads of reasons why buying books for a bookish babe can be intimidating.
Okay so this one is really easy. Getting a gift card is the easiest choice when you don’t want to stress yourself out. If you want to get in and out of store and call it a day. You will still get that serotonin smile because HELLO who doesn’t want free money?! They get to buy the books they have been wanting for a while and you get to sleep easy.
Spice it up
[ ] One of way to make this a more intentional gift, is by making sure its to one of their favorite bookstores. Make it an independent bookstore and your gift is two fold!
[ ] Put it in a coffee mug or tumblr with their favorite tea bags or coffee.
[ ] Add a plush toy for extra cute points.
This is a new one that I would have never thought about adding to the list before this year. I noticed that a lot of my bookish friends were commissioning art of their favorite characters. Obviously this one you might need more time to do but if you find artists who already has done similar work you can see if they have prints of those characters.
If you don’t want to do a character from their favorite book get them art that reminds you of them. People love adding stuff to their walls. There are so many artists who are doing beautiful work you just have to look.
A good way to find new artists is on Twitter believe it or not. Every day artists go viral. Plus if you pay attention to certain tags you will find artist quickly. You can look up different art styles based on tags #watercolor #acrylicpainting #newprints. You would be surprised at what you find!
I just bought a print from Mack Brim an artist who went viral on Twitter because their piece of work spoke to me on a spiritual level:
Spice it up
[ ] Get their favorite character commissioned with their favorite quote.
One must not forget the bookish cart. It is the magical unicorn in 85% of bookstagram pictures. It is the perfect gift for a bookish babe with an endless to be read pile. Why not get them something that helps them organize their life a little bit?
Spice it up
[ ] Get a cart in their favorite color.
[ ] If they a creative bookish babe get them some baskets from the dollar store for their art goodies.
[ ] Add some snacks to their cart.
4. DIY BITCH
If you don’t got monies, my friend that’s okay!! Right now many of us don’t. Its been a hard year for for a lot of people. I think a DIY gift is really underrated. You can do so many different projects that cost very little. As we grow older I believe we value more the time and effort someone puts into creating something. People really don’t understand how the work that they put into something can be just as valuable if not more than a bought gift.
Spice it up
[ ] Collage of your favorite memories together.
[ ] Digital artwork with with their favorite things.
[ ] Write a personal letter about how much they mean to you.
5. Bookmarks Baybee
This is a simple one but a good bookmark goes a long way. If your bookish babe loves to read physical copies a personalized or artisan bookmark can be a fantastic addition to their collection. I got some beautiful resin bookmarks from Created by Cinda that I am obsessed with till this day. Nothing like a really pretty bookmark to get you excited for reading.
Spice it up
[ ] Put the bookmark in one of your favorite books.
[ ] Put it in a little gift basket with some stationary goodies.
[ ] Get them different sized bookmarks so they can use them depending on the size of the book.
Good lighting is essential for good reading! If your bookish babe has poor lighting ( you would be surprised how many houses don’t have lighting fixtures added to their rooms) a good lamp is the way to go. I personally love an LED lamp one that changes fun colors.
If they got good lighting than a cute little book lamp for their side table or book shelf is a nice detail to get.
Spice it up
[ ] Get a lamp for the corner and comfy pillow for the chair.
[ ] Personalize the book lamp.
[ ] Lamp and a cozy blanket
7. All things Comfy
The most optimal reading is done in comfort. On days that we don’t leave the house, on rainy, snowy, stormy days all we want to do is snuggle up in a good sweater, blanket, or pjs. I believe in CCA (Cute, Comfortable, and Affordable) so I am 100% certain that TJ MAXX, Marshalls, Ross has the connect for you in that area.
Spice it up
[ ] Pajamas in different patterns.
[ ] You can never go wrong with adding some slippers.
Book sleeves are next level gifts because you can use them for anything. I have always been tempted to buy one but I personally can’t justify buying it but if someone else does it * shrugs shoulders* I would gladly receive it. There are so many styles and sizes of book sleeves that you can’t really go wrong with one. You can choose one in their favorite color, design, or even with a quote on it.
Where do books go if not a back pack or purse!? I personally have a weakness for backpacks and purses. I don’t know how people walk around with just putting things in their pockets. Every reader I have ever met has always kept a book in their bag. Not to say that there aren’t a rare few who only read in the house but I haven’t personally met them. There are certain bags that let you customize them and add letters or pins to certain pockets.
[ ] Get some hats and gloves in case they are still working
[ ] Get some notebooks and pens if they are students
[ ] Add a hand mirror, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and a brush or wipes
10. Dollar Store Gift Basket
Are you trying to stick to a budget? The dollar store is the place you can hit up for all the basic stuff. You can get all kinds of functional gifts from the dollar store too. DO NOT SLEEP ON THE DOLLAR STORE!!
How to put it together:
First get a basket of your choice they have them in all colors.
Get some tissue paper and add:
A mug (the store has a good selection)
Their favorite candies
Stationary ex. little tabs, a notebook, some highlighters
Okay okay let me stop here. Fam don’t go too wild because after that it can add up and you blow the budget but this is something light you can do. Its fun rearranging it and putting it together.
Spice it up
[ ] Add a key with what each thing is for.
[ ] Chose a theme.
[ ] Put things in it that reminds you of them.
And that is my list folk! I hope you found this helpful. I think one way to really get good at gift giving is by matching the gift to the bookish babes love language. Some people are kind of uncomfortable with gifts, some people might prefer words of affirmations, spending quality time with you, and others love gifts so it works out perfectly. By matching their love language you are showing them that you really know them.
Expand what your meaning of a gift is!
Let me know if you would get any of the bookish babes in your life one of these gifts? What would you add to this list?
I will bypass the usual platitudes. A girl was not feeling like blogging the past month but today here I am with an incredibly late new blog post. In my defense I did have it drafted that Friday but I got carried away with other things.
October was such a great reading month. I read a total of 24 books. It was A SHOCK, A SUPRISE, A DELIGHT to me too!! We can thank the lovely Novella gods for getting me much closer to my reading goal. I am now at 96 books for the year. I honestly didn’t think I would be meeting my reading goal this year but this month has propelled me much closer to my goal which is 100 books for 2020.
October was also a month of new reading discoveries. I am now an expert Audiobook listener, and as of yesterday a big fan of this app Hoopla that allows me to get even more books for FREE. Y’all know I am a sucker for books that cost free dollars. Hoopla is an app that you can connect your library card too and read books on for free. Its a different data base than your libraries. The only “down side” is that if your libraries checkout limit is 5 books than so is your hoopla limit.
I am upset at who ever thought they could keep this app from me.
But forward and onward lets get to this update because its gonna be a long one.
(I am not entirely sure which books are missing from this list)
I track my reading through an app called the “Reading List” the pictures I screenshotted came from that app. I didn’t want to find the individual pictures because that would take to much time and space on my computer. I have found that it is the best app for simple tracking. Its user friendly and you can create different reading lists. It could use an update when it comes to the way its formatted but my favorite thing about it is how easy it is to add books and move them around.
Onto the books:
Favorite books of the Month:
Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots- I don’t think you all know how much I love an anti hero. This book was so fun to read and listen too. The entire time I was like this would be a perfect movie or even tv show.
The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (Read the first four in the series)- I listened to the first four novellas on Scribd and enjoyed every minute of it. Its really funny and filled with of fighting and space travel.
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore- I read this for a panel that I was apart of and when I tell you I was blown away I am not lying. Miss Meteor was one of my favorite YA’s of the year point period blank.
The Haunting of Tram Car by P.Djeli Clark- I will read anything P.Djeli Clark writes. This book is set in the same world as a Dead Djinn in Cairo and all know is I could read about this world a million times over. He writes such amazing characters.
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland- I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. Its a genre bending book that tackles immigration and racism. There was not one moment that I knew where this book was going.
As always I have multiple books lined up, no matter how many times I say I am going to tone it down, I never do. The e-book selection grows and grows sale after sale. Even though I am sure my impulse e-book purchase control wont lower itself. I have decided that I wont consider it a current read unless I have actively read more than 5 chapters. So as of right now I am only currently reading 4 books.
[ ] That Kind Of Guy by Talia Hibbert
[ ] Heartbeat Braves by Pamela Sanderson
[ ] everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by jenny sun
[ ] Queen of Swords and Silence by Carrow Brown
Its astounding that I do not have that many songs or playlists on this list. I think I traded out music for Audiobooks this month. All I have been really listening to are my favorite playlists and oldies. I haven’t been in the mood for new music which is weird. Listened to some Salsa, some Funk Brasileiro.
I have been drinking my usual tea but I did do a refill and buy from a new to me brand brand Ivy’s Tea Co. it is a Black Women owned tea company. Unfortunately they don’t have many caffeinated teas but their herbals are on point.
October was a month of first. I got a temporary subscription box to Hello Fresh that was actually pretty good. I was able to cook recipes that I had never tried before.
I made Korean Bulgogi, Spinach and Ricotta Chicken Ravioli, and a couple dishes I cant remember the name of. I would recommend this subscriptions to people who live a lone or couples it was definitely not made with families in mind.
I have been absolutely terrible about posting this month and it is one of my favorite months of the year. I was supposed to post this poem at the beginning of the Latinx Heritage Month but I couldn’t find it till now.
De Donde Vengo is a poem I wrote almost three years ago and then translated from English into Spanish when I did the Miss Fiesta DC Pageant last year. Its funny how translating something can transform the piece completely. I would now have to translate the poem again because it is not the same piece it was before. This is a poem about not WHERE I come from but WHO.
DE DONDE VENGO (Spanish)
Me preguntan de donde vengo
Como si fuera fácil de contestar
Y si lo pienso bien ni eso es la pregunta correcta
por que no es de donde vengo pero si no de quien
Y si esa pregunta les interesa escuchen bien a mi respuesta
Y te cuento con esta poema
De quién es que vengo.
Yo Vengo de mujeres guerreras
Mujeres que con una mano aguantan el peso del mundo
con la otra pelean con perros rabiosos mientras amamantan sus
hijos ganando batallas
Vengo de ni la fuerza
de un millón de hombres podría
Hacer la rodilla
Yo Vengo de ella miro
al diablo a los ojos y
el temblo’ A ver la luz en su mirada
Vengo de ella era pequeña
pero sus manos
traían el poder de un vulcan
Yo vengo de ella cultiva
Con dedos que encienden
Vengo de ella cocina
como la salsa
Yo vengo de ella vive con sus pies en dos mundo
Vengo de una fe inquebrantable
De sus ave maria
Podría cambiar a qual quier
Demonio a un santo
Yo vengo de ella se quedó
por que pensaba que sin él
no era Nada
Vengo de ella se fue
porque finalmente entendió
que ella valía el oro y mucho más
Yo Vengo de un amor
Que podría calentar
hasta el más frío
No solamente vengo de la isla, tierra, palmera y mal
vengo de la gente
de la mujeres que sin su fuego, fuerza, poder, amor,
y su historia que llevo en el código de mi sangre
en el tambor de mi corazón y raíces
no podría estar aquí hoy
Where I come from
They ask me where I come from
As if that was so easy to answer
And if I think about it properly it’s not even the right question
Because it’s not where I am but who
So if this answer is of interest to you listen to it well
And I’ll tell you with this poem
Who is it that I come from
I come from warrior women
Women who with one hand hold the weight of the world
And with the other fight off rabid dogs
while breast feeding their children
I come from not even
the strength of a million men
could not make her kneel
I am from she looked
the devil in his eyes
And he trembled at the light
In her eyes
I am from she was small
But her hands
Held the power of a volcano
I am from she cultivated
With fingers that ignite
I am from she cooked
Like the salsa
She dances too
I am from she lives with her feet in both worlds
From an unshakeable faith
From her ave marias
Could turn any demon
Into a saint
I come from she stayed
Because she thought that
Without him she was nothing
I am from she left because
She finally understood
That she was worth gold and much more
I am from a love
So profound that it could
Warm the cold blooded
I do not only come from the island, land, palm trees, and ocean
I come from the people
From the women that without their fire, strength, power, love
and the history that I keep encoded in my blood
In the drum of my heart and roots
I wouldn’t be here today
I am from.
I hope you enjoyed this poem it is very near and dear to my heart.
For my stop on this lovely tour I decided to make a mood board. This is my first time doing one for a book and I had so much fun creating it. I added things and places that I read about in Furia plus some special touches.
In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.
Filled with authentic details and the textures of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, Furia is the story of a girl’s journey to make her life her own.
Furia is set in Rosario, Argentina. In a world that is slowly shifting. A world where women are exhausted of being mistreated. This is set in current and modern times.One of the things that I enjoyed about this book was that you really got a sense of what it is like to live in Rosario. Mendez made you feel like you where walking through the streets of Rosario, playing at a field in Parque Yrigoyen, dancing in Parque España. One of my favorite things about how she writes Rosario, Argentina is that she makes sure that the reader knows that this place is multicultural, people from all over the world have migrated to Argentina and made it their home. I haven’t read many Ya Contemporary books that truly depict diversity at this magnitude. It excites me that this book is out in the world for young people to read and to learn that places like Rosario, Argentina exist.
Protagonist: Camila Hassan
What I would have given to have a character like Camila Hassan when I was in middle school. If I would have had known Camila as young soccer player I feel like I would have pursued it for longer (lol). Camila knows what she wants and she is not letting anything get in the way of that. Futbol is her bread and butter. Her dream is to play for a professional team in the United States. Everything that she has done has served to get her there. She will not let the machismo in her world stop her from accomplishing those dreams. She is aware of the world that she was born into. We learn about the awful things that are happening to women in her country. Young women are being abused and murdered. Violence against women is at an all time high. We learn that women are tired and exhausted of this so they are protesting and taking to the streets. We see the stigma that these women carry. The internalized misogyny that her mother carries when she and other women interact with the Marea Verde. Camila witnesses all of these injustices and refuses to watch as they happen. She is the kind of feminist character that young people should be reading about. I think that is important mention that she wasn’t this perfect character but she was wholly herself eve when she had to lie about where she was and what she was doing. Seeing Camila grow and embrace herself as the Furia and accomplish what she set out to do left me with such warmth.
Every time I read a little more about Diego my heart fluttered. I truly believe there is no other like the Titan. He was a soft king, proud of his roots, kindhearted, and nearly perfect. There was a moment that disillusioned me but he needed to be brought down to earth. I think he’s an example of how some men can miss the big picture; they might think they aren’t violent or harmful towards women but their ignorance can be violent in its own way. That being said some of my favorite moments in the book where when Camila had flash backs to her interactions with a young Diego.
“Yes.” Somehow I was holding his hand again.
I saws my reflection in his honey-brown eyes.
“Remember I said Abuelo would do anything for you?” Diego asked, propping himself on his elbow.
“So would I. I’d do anything for you,” Diego said, and kissed me on the cheek.
Coach Alicia is the head coach of the Eva Maria soccer team. She is some one that Camila admires. She has helped Camila and the girls reach new heights as soccer players.
Roxanne is Camila’s best friend. She was personally one of my least favorite characters besides her father and mother. I think that she was a little too judgmental for my liking.
Pablo, the older brother, the star, the one who has had everything placed on his shoulders. I honestly don’t really know how to feel about him. He was kind of mean when he was present. He cares for his little sister but I think he doesn’t take her seriously enough. In comparison to his father he is isn’t awful but you can see the similarities. He is another form of the sexism that is prevalent in society. He is the man that is too afraid to say anything against the abuse because he doesn’t want it targeted at him.
Isabel, Camila’s mother probably had the best character development. We learn why she is so harsh with Camila. Her own dreams had been crushed when she was young. She was a product of her generation, of a male dominated world it was hard for her to see beyond that. We see her blossom and flourish when taken out from under her husbands thumb.
Andres, Camila’s Father is not necessarily a supporting character but is used to demonstrate the severity of el machismo, how abusive, and harmful it is. He is the living representation of what is happening in the world around her. I despised him from the jump. He was terrible to Isabel and believed that because he was a man he is allowed to say and do what he pleases.
My Favorite Side Characters:
Karen is a young girl that Camila met while working for Instituto Del Buen Pastor. She is eager to learn and despite her speech impediment, having to take care of her siblings, she works hard to learn English. She was so sweet and hard working. I adored their interactions.
Miriam, was not a character that I was expecting to pop up. The fact that there is a curandera sweetens the deal for me. It appears that there is some history between her and Isabel. I liked this little surprise very much.
Furia left me wanting more yet it was so beautifully wrapped up at the end that I am not mad that there isn’t more. I had so much fun getting to know Camila. I learned so much about Argentina. Furia is the first book I read where is is set in Argentina. I learned about folklore, history, and so much more. The fact that I didn’t get not one but at least three to four different languages in this book is phenomenal.
As a Latina, I felt seen in Camila. I related to her on so many levels. It made me emotional knowing that we shared some of the same experiences. I feel like this is one of the first YA books that I have read where feminism is written in this way. I am in awe at how Mendez was able to intricately write about heavy topics like and still write such a hopeful book. I didn’t know what to expect when I read that it was considered a Feminist coming of age story but I can truly see why they would dub it so. Camila rising above the odds and accomplishing her dreams despite the many sacrifices that she had to make is an accurate depiction of what it means to be woman. I loved that it is shown that you don’t always have to sacrifice everything that sometimes you can have it all.
There are so many lessons to be learned from this book. Lessons on family values, self-worth, feminism, identity, and sacrifice. If I was a high school teacher I would make this a required reading in a heart beat. I know I will be thinking about the Furia for days to come.
A quick thanks to Colored Pages Book tour, Algonquin Young Readers, and Yamile Saied Mendez for this wonderful opportunity.
Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.
A special shout out to Lair Of Books for inspiring this new segment on the Colorfully Bookish Blog. Go over and check out her Friday Reads and Thangs post.
Last Friday Updates will consist of: current reads, a reading wrap up, music I have fallen in love with, tea’s that I have purchased, and food that I tried that had me LIVING MY BEST LIFE.
If you are still wondering about the concept of Last Friday Updates. I will explain again on the last Friday of every month you will get the juicy details of my very standard life.
In the month of August, I read 11 books. If I had to rate my reading month I would give it 6/10. While the books that I read where good nothing was show stopping, heart-in-hand spell inducing. I was also avoiding some of more intimidating reads so it is definitely my fault. I still have three more books I want to get to but I will just update this post when I finish them.
I wrote a review for the Black God’s Drums if you want a more in depth review on it go over to my book reviews.
A Dead Djinn in Cairo is a short story about an attractive detective that is trying to solve a murder and as the night continues more dead bodies start to appear. The case leads her to a disturbing plot to end the world. I listened to the audio book version and I loved it. It was only 3 hours long so I imagine that reading the physical copy or ebook would not take more than that. I am finding that P. Djeli Clark is my kind of Sci-Fi author.
The Gold Sky series is a lovely romance series that I enjoyed but found very predictable. I didn’t read the second book in the series or the newest but I think I will be getting to those soon. Out of the ones I did read I enjoyed Three To love the best. I think that we need more characters like our fashionista Florence in romance. I would definitely recommend this series as a palette cleanser
Sweet Mercy was a short romance about getting your life back after losing it in a marriage that you thought was perfect. I enjoyed this read especially because it was set in Ghana and gave us a little bit of political intrigue. I wish I got a more background on the political system but if I wanted a history lesson I could just Google it. I feel like this book could have given us more romance but I understand that it is a companion story to “Imperfect Arrangements”and romance wasn’t the sole focus of this short book. I do believe I will be reading more from Francis Mensah Williams for sure.
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea was an exciting read but there are still somethings that I have to process and think more critically about. I will be writing a review for this book soon so expect a book review within the next couple of weeks.
I created that pretty tbr post to only read one book off that list. Hopefully before September comes I can knock off a two more because I worked so hard putting that together to not read more off that list.
This Month has been a god send for music. I am a fan of listening to genres of all kinds. Music in all languages.
While I do listen to Brazilian music often this month I was able to expand my horizons even more due to the lively Lou over at Lou Reading Things . Her playlist added some more flavor to my month.
Got to make sure that Liniker specifically is shown on this list because her soulful voice, her unique sound, her vibes are everything.
Brechoque, Boca, and Intimidade are my favorites.
Ho, why is you here?
All you got to know is I am apart of the Flo Militia. I use this album when I need to feel like a baddie.
Weak, May I, and Like that Bitch are my favorites.
I still haven’t been able to stop playing this album since it came out so I can’t create this list without adding it
Forgive Me, Tipsy, Busy Boy, Catch up and Wonder What She Thinks of Me are my favorites from the album.
Enclave de Bolero
I am big fan of Bolero and Musica Romantica so it was a pleasant surprise when I stumbled upon this ep. It had me wanting to dance in someones arms, dreaming about long walks on the beach, and being wined and dined.
Sabiduria and Por la Carretera are my favorites.
Sevana has now infiltrated my heart. Listen to this ep immediately. While I love all of it, Mango has me wishing I was on a beach so badly.
Mango, Be somebody, Set Me On Fire are my favorite songs on this ep.
Black is King
A moment. A life altering, soul harvesting, transfixing, hypnotizing moment. I am so sorry for not listening to this album when it came out.
My Power, Don’t Jealous Me, Water, Ja Ara E are my favorites.
I like to consider myself a bit of tea snob a connoisseur if you will. The tea that I found myself surprisingly obsessed with was Lady Blue by Zest Tea a deliciously fruity black tea. I usually like my teas sans the fruit but this one I will be purchasing again.
Next Month I will do a better job of documenting what I cooked because right now I am blanking really badly. This month for my best friends birthday we went to a restaurant in D.C. at The Wharf called La Vie. I had the most spectacular lamb chops I have ever tasted.
10/10 would eat there again.
And that is it for Last Friday Updates. If you read all of this I thank you for your patience and dedication. Going over everything that happens in a month is a lot harder than it seems.
What are somethings you enjoyed this month?
Thanks again and stay colorful my bookish friends!
Oh my gawd my first ever book tag. The excitement! I was tagged by the lovely and oh so talented The Perks of Being Noura blog. I truly appreciate it.
+ Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about to do this tag
What are you currently reading?
Is this a trick question because it feels like a trick question?! I at any given time am reading 3+ books but right now I am trying to get through at least some of my tbr. My library keeps sending me more books its so hard.
What are your favorite ‘can’t leave the house’ activity?
This is very simple very easy answer:
Watching some Anime
A book you’ve been meaning to read forever?
I have read the Bone Witch but haven’t read the last two in that series though I have been meaning two for the longest. Storm of Locusts is one I have picked up and put down too many times to count. Latinext is one I am salivating to read and will hopefully have it finished by the end of the month. The Passage has been on my bookshelf for three years. I will get to it!
An intimidating book on your tbr?
I know I am going to love it but I am scared.
Top three priority books on your tbr?
LOOK AT HOW COLORFUL THESE BOOKS ARE ?! Not only are they super colorful but also supposed to be well written and spectacular reads. They are definitely a priority!
Recommend a short book?
One of the types of books that I have been trying to read more of are short story collections and in general just shorter books. This one was surprisingly delicious and wildly different to what I usually read.
Recommend a long book?
Thorn had me transfixed and in love with my goose girl. The Poppy War had me sobbing and ready to go to battle.
Something you’d love to do while stuck at home?
I am starting incorporate more movement into my day to day so I have started working out in the morning with my work wife.
I have found that I love to blog so doing this has been a delight and a new joy for me.
I love talking with my friends over the phone or watching movies with them through Netflix party or Zoom. Staying connected with them has been really important to me.
I have been an avid tea drinker since 2015 after my stint at Teavana. I drink at least 3-5 cups of tea a day. A younger me would be astounded. I hated hot drinks growing up but like most things that I have hated growing up in my life, I have grown to love a hot cup of tea.
While procrastinating this morning I came up with the idea of matching some of my favorite teas to the books I have read and am currently reading.
Please enjoy some quality tea and books content!
Black Cask Bourbon Tea has been one of my favorite black teas the past couple of month. Harney & Sons Black Cask Bourbon Tea and The Black Gods Drum go perfectly together. Though I have never been to New Orleans (It’s on my go-to destinations list) I feel like this tea gives me Steam Punk New Orleans Vibes.
I rarely go for sweet teas but I can be swayed with a quality mint combination this next tea Pomegranate Mojito green tea would be spectacularly paired with a sweet graphic novel. Zesttea is supposed to be a highly caffeinated tea brand and anything that helps me stay away from coffee is pretty good in my book.
French Super Blue Lavender while may be a turnoff for some because of its similarity to lavender fragrance is in fact a turn on just like my soft king Vaughn from Harbor by Rebahka Weatherspoon tickles my fancy. I love me a calming yet strong smelling herbal tea. Who doesn’t want to feel like they are surrounded by a field of lavender? Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by a lovely and handsome Vaughn?
Thorn by Intisar Khanani had a dream like quality to it that had me transfixed and in love with the writing style. My goose girl was more than capable and reliable young girl than what she was given credit for by her family. Pomergranate Oolong is a favorite because it has a soft yet sweet flavor and is my go to when I am having stomach cramps. These two compliment each other really well.
Lapsang Souchong is one of the weirdest teas in existence. It tastes like ashes and wood fire. That being said I love it. It is only right that is is paired with our horrifying yet loving Rin from The Dragon Republic by R.f Kuang. If you know, you know.
This pairing was a little bit more difficult because I could not think of what would go perfectly with The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. It is a book about Caribbean folklore, family and friendship. I loved the description of their island so much it made me feel like I was on an island while reading it. Also her delicious oranges and fruit made me want to go back home to Puerto Rico and pick some fruit from la finca. This book would go perfectly with a honey citrus tea.
Peppermint tea while not caffeinated can wake you up on smell alone. This strong scented tea goes perfectly with Rage becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly. You need a tea that will wake you the fuck up like Rage Becomes Her will wake you up.
When the romance is SPICY your tea should be too. I don’t create the rules I just enforce them. This next pairing is a homemade Chai with a very spicy romance. I enjoyed making it as much as I enjoyed reading Go Deep by Rilzy Adams. A friends to lovers novelette that has you squirming in your chair.
BONUS CHAI RECIPE
5 Black peppercorns
6 Cardamom pods
3 Anise stars
1/2 inch- 2 inches of ginger
1-2 cinnamon sticks
Brown sugar however much you want
AND SMASH SMASH SMASH
Boil some of your favorite milk I like oat or coconut
add spices and black tea if you want it caffeinated
let it steep for 5 minutes and then strain it into your favorite mug
1. Opposites Attract: It is absolutely necessary that I start with my all time favorite trope opposites attract. Every combination of this trope is a sweet treat. We can always trust for this to deliver excellence. The bubbly artist and the serious business man, the angry chef and caring baker, the serious teacher and their carefree counterpart. 10/10 every time. One of my favorite moments is when our Grumpy main character realizes that they can’t live without their lovely piece of Sunshine that is absolutely swoon inducing.
Delightfully swoon worthy examples:
2. Fated Love: Somewhere out there is the person that you are meant to be with. You are fated to marry or have a scorching love affair. It is such a classic trope. I don’t know about you but this one right here makes my heart sing. I have had a soft spot for this baby growing up on Wattpad. Vampires and Werewolves searching for their forever mates was a sure way to get me to save the book to my library. These days while I still have a soft spot for this trope I like the reincarnation aspect of it. Being destined even in the next life NOW THAT IS TOP TIER.
Two deliciously terrific examples:
3. Marriage of Convenience: Who doesn’t want to enter a marriage with a set of rules that slowly get disregarded, as you start to fall in love with each other, and realize that this fake marriage might turn into something more serious and beautiful than you ever expected? This marvelous trope can have me purchasing a book with just the mention of this alone. Marriage of Convenience has you laughing at a the main characters when they think they can enter this little agreement unscathed and without falling in love. JOKES ON YOU MC WE KNOW AND YOU KNOW THAT LOVE IS INEVITABLE.
Two wonderfully iconic examples:
4. Friends to Lovers: For many this trope can feel a little stale and not carry much excitement which is honestly not true. The slow burn, the spark that you didn’t feel before, the realization that this companionship is obviously not enough for you, the knowledge that you can trust this person with your heart because you have known each other all your life, the comfortable feeling of being in each others presence, the teasing and playfulness of it all. How is this boring?!? Such a quality trope it needs more credit for what it does.
Two finger-licking and mouth watering examples:
5. Forbidden Love: This trope can get a little intense. My favorite kind of combination of this trope is with hate to love. But forbidden romance is an Oscar Award winning trope. This one can have you clutching your heart and fanning yourself from the tension, the secret looks, the jealousy, the back and forth between the “we can’t be with each other but I can’t live without you” lines. I am personally partial to the bodyguard and cultural differences aspect combination. The forbidden love between a bodyguard and their client is juicy and tension filled. It is the being able to look past the cultural differences and biases to really look at the person and realize that none of that matters and you love them regardless.
Two heart fluttering, stomach clenching examples of this trope:
Enemies to Lovers when done right can make me clutch my pearls when done wrong which I find that it often is makes me want to scream. A lot of times I find that Enemies to Lovers can be made to be a hella abusive and manipulative. I get stuck like y’all put each other through so much and are forgiving each other without a proper reconciliation. No no no no thank you. That being said I think these two books do a pretty good job of not disappointing me though Burn Me by Ilona Andrews was really close to having me put it up. There are so many ways to do this trope but my favorite is childhood friends to enemies to lovers and rivalry based enemies to lovers. I loved good ole fashion rivalry.
Second Chance at Love: I absolutely love a second chance at love trope. Give me hometown romance, give me rekindled relationships. The relearning the person you thought you knew so well, the reminders that you really love this person, give me THIS time your gonna do it right. Even the mutual yearning, missed opportunities, always having eyes for each other but it was never the right time. The first time might not have been the right time but the SECOND you know that it was meant to be.
Slow Burn: In order to love a good slow burn you must have patience. In a slow burn the stakes are low but just the process and story telling alone can be enough to get the blood pumping. I love a slow burn because often times romance is depicted as something that happens really fast but that isn’t the case for many folk. Sometimes love takes time to seep in and take full affect. In a slow burn there is lots of wooing and courting there are more details and getting to know each other. I love the timidness but also the fierceness that it can bring out.
Hope you enjoyed the first batch of my Swoon Worthy Wednesdays